A CASTLE fit for a fairytale princess has helped launch the quest to find a beauty who will become the face of Northumberland.
On Monday, the search began at Bamburgh Castle to find 24 girls aged 17 to 24 from around the county, who will battle it out for the first title of Miss Northumberland.
And in keeping with this year’s theme of Medieval meets Rapunzel, the finalists will need a sweet heart, beauty and personality to see them through the competition.
The winner of the contest – which is being backed by Johnston Press’s newspapers in Northumberland, including the Gazette – will represent the county at the Miss England final and have a year of official duties with the Grace House North East Children’s Hospice Appeal.
Organiser Simon Robertson said: “We are searching for a jewel in the Northumberland crown, a girl who can represent our chosen charity, the Grace House North East Children’s Hospice Appeal, with heart as well as beauty and have the graceful personality to go on to represent the county at the Miss England contest.
“Our winner will have an exciting year showcasing one of the most beautiful counties in the UK, taking home a coveted modelling contract from Glam R Us as part of the winner’s prize package.”
Chris Calvert, the castle’s director, said: “With its past association with royalty and location in one of the most beautiful areas of Northumberland, we are very happy that the search for Miss Northumberland is starting here at Bamburgh.”
There will be no swimwear section in the competition. It has been replaced with a fun bootcamp round to emphasise health and fitness.
The full line-up of judges has yet to be announced, but will include Newcastle Falcon scrum-half premiership rugby player Chris Pilgrim and ITV Tyne Tees presenter Kenny Toal. The final will take place on Friday, June 3.
Budding beauty queens who would like to enter Miss Northumberland 2011 need to be aged between 17 and 24 and visit www.missnorthumberland.co.uk
An entry form will also be included in next week’s Gazette.
Businesses interested in sponsoring the event or hosting a heat can visit the same address for information and tickets are on sale now for the grand final.